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New Law Could Lead to Journalists Being Jailed

(Athens) – A criminal code provision that Greece’s parliament adopted on November 11, 2021, makes it a criminal offense to spread “fake news,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should immediately move to revoke the provision,…
A woman reads newspaper's headlines referring to the killing of a Greek journalist in Athens on April 10, 2021.
News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Halt Abuses, Ensure Due Process, Investigate Ill-Treatment

(Berlin) – Azerbaijani authorities arrested numerous opposition activists and leaders on spurious criminal charges following a July 14, 2020 unsanctioned rally in Baku, Human Rights Watch said today. Thousands of people gathered that day to support…
Rally participants gather in front of the parliament building, Baku, Azerbaijan, July 14, 2020.
News

Afgan Mukhtarli Reunited with His Family in Exile

Afgan Mukhtarli, a prominent investigative journalist and a political activist, was freed yesterday – a rare bit of good news from Azerbaijan. Mukhtarli had been serving a 6-year prison sentence handed down in 2017 on bogus,…
Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli rejoins his daughter in a Berlin airport following his release from prison in Azerbaijan, March 17, 2020.
News
Azerbaijan is celebrating its National Press Day today. But when it comes to press freedoms, there’s not much to celebrate, argues Catherine Pilishvili from Human Rights Watch.  Just ask Seymur Hazi. He was a leading columnist for the opposition…
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli is brought to the court after he has been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to neighboring Azerbaijan where he was detained in custody.
News

Azerbaijan and Georgia need to answer urgent questions about reporter’s kidnapping and imprisonment.

Two years ago, prominent Azerbaijani journalist and IWPR contributor Afgan Mukhtarli vanished from the centre of Tbilisi.  That evening he had met a friend in a cafe, picked up some bread on the way back and called his wife Leyla Mustafayeva, also a…
Afgan Mukhtarli
News

Authorities Should Release Mehman Huseynov and Drop All Charges

Azerbaijan authorities know no limits when it comes to silencing government critics. As everyone was celebrating the New Year, Azerbaijan authorities were busy pressing new charges against one of the country’s most popular anti-…
Mehman Huseynov.
News

Mainland Space Shortage Bars Transfer of Vulnerable People

(Brussels) – The already dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria camp for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos may deteriorate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster as winter approaches unless urgent action is taken, Human Rights Watch…
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News

At Least 10 Other Journalists or Bloggers Still Behind Bars Should Also Be Freed

There was rare good news from Baku today – Azerbaijan’s supreme court partially reversed the conviction of a journalist, Aziz Orujov, and released him on a suspended three-year sentence. Granted, he should have never been…
Jailed journalist Aziz Orujov released from prison, Baku, Azerbaijan, April 5, 2018.
News

Authorities Stifle Critics, Impede Work of Independent Groups

(Berlin) – The Azerbaijani government sentenced at least 25 journalists and political and youth activists to long prison terms in politically motivated, unfair trials in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. …
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli is brought to the court after he has been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to neighboring Azerbaijan where he was detained in custody.
News

Free Mehman Aliyev

(Berlin) – Azerbaijani authorities have jailed Mehman Aliyev, the director of the country’s last remaining independent media outlet, filing charges on alleged tax and other offenses against him in retaliation for his journalism, Human Rights Watch…
detention aliyev
News

Bogus Tax Investigation Threatens to Close Turan News Agency

Just last month, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev gave more than 200 apartments away free to journalists and accepted a “friend of journalists” award in return. He claimed that thousands of press agencies operate in Azerbaijan.…
Journalists at Turan News Agency in Azerbaijan while tax police raided their office earlier this month.
News

Afgan Mukhtarli is Facing Politically Motivated Prosecution in Azerbaijan

Update, May 31, 2017 On May 31, Azerbaijani authorities pressed additional charges against Afgan Mukhtarli, accusing him of violently resisting a law enforcement official, and the Sabail district court of Baku sent him for…
Afgan Mukhtarli
News

Face Delays, Barriers to Reuniting with Families

  (Athens) – Unnecessary delays and arbitrary barriers are keeping older refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Greece, unable to reunite with family members who have legal status in the European Union, Human Rights…
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News

A Window of Opportunity For Few Refugees

  This is the second of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
Mohammed finally spends time with his children and wife in their new home in Germany. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News
  This is the first of a two-part commentary on family reunification by Bethany Brown of Human Rights Watch and photojournalist Anna Pantelia that documents a Syrian family’s final days in Greece before heading to Germany to…
On Boxing Day in the Osanas’ house in Greece, Dominique called Falak’s husband, Mohammed, on Skype and introduced his family. © 2017 Anna Pantelia
News

Joint Statement

As World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe on May 3, we, the undersigned organizations, cannot forget the untenable price journalists pay for government criticism in Azerbaijan. The case of Mehman Huseynov is emblematic. Huseynov is a…
Freedom for Mehman Huseynov.
News

Greece, EU States Need to do Better to Reunite Families

Fatima, 62 years old, fled persecution and the destruction of her city of Aleppo, Syria, with the dream of reuniting with her daughter and grandchildren in Germany. She survived the treacherous journey to Greece, but border restrictions in the Western…
Fatima
News

Use High-Level Talks to Secure Change

(Brussels) – European Union officials should press President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to free unjustly imprisoned political activists, journalists, and other government critics, Human Rights Watch said today. EU officials should also urge Aliyev to end…
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attends a news conference, Berlin, Germany, June 7, 2016.
News

Regarding Azerbaijan President Aliyev's Visit to Brussels

Mr Donald Tusk President of the European Council Rue de la Loi 175 1048 Brussels   Mr Jean-Claude Juncker President of the European Commission Rue de la Loi 200 1049 Brussels …